4slicesbaconhalved crosswise to yield 8 short strips
1small white or yellow onionfinely chopped
1stalkceleryleaves discarded, coarsely chopped
1poundunpeeled red potatoescut into 3/4-inch cubes
2cupsreduced-salt chicken broth
3 cupsfrozen corn kernels
1tspchopped fresh thyme leaves
¼tspfreshly ground black pepper
1 ½cupswhole milkdivided
Line the bottom of inner pot with bacon. Press Saute and use Saute or Adjust button to select middle temperature (Normal). Cook with lid off and use silicone spatula or wooden spoon to move bacon around occasionally so that it cooks evenly. Cook until crisp, about 6 minutes.
Remove bacon, leaving behind fat. Allow bacon to drain on paper-towel lined plate until step 7.
With the Saute function and middle temperature (Normal) still selected, add onion and celery to bacon fat. Cook with lid off, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add potatoes and bay leaves. Wait a moment and then pour in the broth. Close and lock the lid.Set the valve to Sealing. Press Cancel, then press Manual or Pressure Cook and use the Pressure or Pressure Level button to select High Pressure. Use the - or + button to set the time to 1 minute.
When the cooking cycle ends, carefully use a wooden spoon to release the pressure by turning the pressure-release valve to venting. (Pressure is released when the small metal float valve next to the pressure-release valve sinks back into the lid and the lid is no longer locked.)
Remove the lid. Discard bay leaves. Add corn, thyme, salt, pepper, 1 1/4 cups milk and hot sauce. Press Cancel, then press Saute and use Saute or Adjust button to select the lowest temperature (Less). Cook with lid off, stirring occasionally until chowder is hot, about 5 minutes.
Chop the bacon. Add half to the chowder, stirring to distribute. Reserve the rest to use as a garnish.
Combine reserved 1/4 cup milk and corn starch in small bowl. Mix well. Mix into heated soup to thicken.
Serve the chowder hot, garnished with reserved bacon.